As part of Technical Assistance Facility to support the AfCFTA and Continental Economic Integration (EU-TAF) support to the African Union Commission (AUC), specifically to Economic Development, Trade, Industry, Mining (ETTIM), Expertise France under the TAF is recruiting a junior expert to support the implementation and dissemination of the SME strategy and establishment of the Enterprise Africa Network (EAN) . The junior expert will report to the ETTIM’s Head of Industry, Innovation and Minerals Division and to Expertise France EU-TAF programme Manager.
In accordance with the AU Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals Department the junior expert shall provide technical and administrative support/counselling to the AUC and thereby contribute towards the implementation of the SME strategy, by coordinating the various activities related to the undertaking.
Thus, the incumbent shall, under the overall policy of the AUC, contribute the following:
Dissemination of the AU SME Strategy: The expert shall co-ordinate the final activities of the preparations for the effective implementation of the strategy. The implementation programme shall exploit the synergies of the partners/stakeholders, and ascertain a coordinated and harmonized approach and process. This will be done in the form of innovative projects and programmes including workshops, trainings, webinars, stakeholder engagement, newsletters, conferences and others forms of dissemination.
Establishment of information database: The expert shall give counsel to the AUC on the creation of a database needed to support the implementation of the strategy (e.g., database to include detailed information on prospective sources of financial and none financial resources that can be mobilized and leveraged to foster Africa’s SME/I development).
Capacity building: The expert shall provide technical documents and plans to support the AUC in the building of human, institutional, and programmatic capacities, in order to sustainably manage the implementation of the strategy.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and reporting: The expert shall co-ordinate under the supervision of the department the setting-up of a viable system for the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of all aspects and stages of implementation of the strategy.
The main results expected from the junior expert are as follows:
Sensitization of Member States and RECs countries as well as private and public developers on the AU SME Strategy
Create effective linkages for adoption and implementation in Member Countries;
Ensure adequate training of skilled/professional staff through workshops and seminars on SME Development;
Incremental enhancement of the technical and financial support to SMEs and SMEs support institutions;
Induction workshop for key actors for the implementation of the SME strategy is organized;
Prepare and provide project reports from all key activities;
Catalogue of prospective financial and knowledge resources / organisations, their profiles prepared, and contacts / relationships to them are established;
Resource mobilization calendar / work plan is prepared, and guides the activities of the steering committee of the strategy for the implementation of the SME strategy;
Support the Preparatory work of the Enterprise Africa Network (EAN);
Meetings with resource providers (donors, creditors, etc.) are organized and attended;
Integrated in activities of the implementation of SME strategy.
Project or context description
The African Union (AU) as the continental body that embraces the Member States and RECs under a common umbrella will have a leading role in encouraging and promoting the application of the SME strategy. To facilitate its implementation, the Strategy is accompanied with various frameworks, which include results framework, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, partnership building, resource mobilization and communications and outreach.
The African Union Commission, Department of Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals (ETTIM) developed the AU SME Strategy for Africa which was adopted by the Heads of State and Government during their ordinary summit of February, 2019 and Endorsed by the 17th Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification held on the 25th November 2022 in Niamey, Niger. This is part of the efforts to inspire economic growth and structural transformation on the continent.
The vision of the AU SME Strategy is to “develop competitive, diversified and sustainable economies underpinned by dynamic, entrepreneurial and industrial sectors that generate employment, reduce poverty and foster social inclusion”.
Taking into account the AU’s comparative advantage in engaging RECs and Member States and recognizing that Africa’s private sector has not been an important source of competitive, diversified and sustainable job growth, the Strategy identifies how the AU can leverage its convening power to engage RECs as well as Member States in re-examining how to strengthen and reinvigorate the private sector engagement in SMEs in order to achieve the set goal.
Among some of the initiatives the Department is undertaking is the establishment of the Enterprise Africa Network (EAN). In summary, Enterprise Africa Network (EAN) main endeavour will be to facilitate and grow a ‘’Pool of competitive SMEs’’ in Africa. SMEs at different stages (incubation and start-up, expansion and growth stage, maturity stage) will receive support from a ‘’Pool of accredited BDS organisations’’ to build their capacity in order to position them to access markets.
The "Technical Assistance Facility to support the AfCFTA and Continental Economic Integration" (TAF) aims to respond to the needs of the African Union (AfCFTA Secretariat, AUC, and AU Specialized agencies), RECs, AU Member States continental and regional private sector organizations and other potential partners working on AfCFTA and continental economic integration. This is a strategic project that will enhance the continent's capacity to deliver on Agenda 2063 and 2030. The TAF will provide targeted and on-demand support to strengthen and complement the capacities of beneficiaries to respond to their evolving priority needs related to the AfCFTA negotiation and implementation process. The TAF is currently funded by the EU, Germany, France, and Sweden. Three agencies from EU Member States jointly implement it: GIZ from Germany (as a lead implementing partner), Expertise France (EF) from France, and the Ibero American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP) from Spain.
Educational Qualification & Work Experience
Advanced Degree in Economics, Development Economics, Development Studies, International Relations, or Business Administration
Demonstrated experience of a minimum 2 years in private sector development, enterprise development, project management, SME / startup ecosystem and/or other fields relevant to implementation of the AU SME Strategy
Experience in facilitating liaison with public and private sector stakeholders for implementing development projects and programmes.
Required Skills and Competencies
The following are the skills and competencies required for the position:
In-depth knowledge of the SME development agenda;
In-depth familiarity with the strategy for the implementation of the plan of action for AIDA and strategies for SME/I development in Africa;
Strong abilities in project management - ability to develop projects plans, and calmly work towards their realization, managing the logistics, communications, administration, partner and stakeholder engagement;
Proven experience and technical ability to manage international and/or regional level economic integration projects for international organizations and/or development partners.
Solid analytical, writing skills, and communication skills;
Sound knowledge and skills in training and facilitation;
Team spirit and excellent interpersonal relations;
Good networking skills with project stakeholders (governments, development partners, private sector organisations and businesses, NGOs and local communities)
Ability to work under pressure and under rapidly changing conditions;
Strong self-organizational, planning, research and technical writing skills;
Demonstrated ability to pay attention to detail while keeping track of overall key performance indicators; and
Experience working in multi-cultural environments
High ICT literacy, proficient in MS Office package
Proficiency in one of the African Union working languages is mandatory. Proficiency of two or more working language(s) would be an added value.